Promoters Adapt to Severe Weather Challenges
By Cristina De La Garza
Lloret enjoyed warm swimming weather just one week ago but now finds itself victim of a major winter storm covering all of Europe. The Predator World Tour first felt the effects of the storm 2 days ago when many of the UK players were sent home from the airport due to flight cancellations after waiting in terminals for most of the day. Airport closing and flight cancellations are being felt throughout Europe, primarily in the UK, Germany and France.
After play was suspended early on day 1 due to severe weather obstructing playing conditions, tournament directors and players hoped for better weather for day 2. Their wishes were not met and an overnight storm with high winds caused structural damage to many buildings in Lloret including the tournament location. The original tournament arena was unfit for play as several tables were ruined by the collapse and tournament promoters were forced to make tough decisions.
After a long deliberation and brainstorming of alternate options, promoters offered the players a commendable solution. Tables are being moved to the ballroom of the Guitart Grand Hotel Monterrey which is the host hotel for many of the players this week in Lloret and play will resume this afternoon. Due to time constraints of delayed matches, this tournament will only play down to the final 16 players. At the next Predator World Tour event, they will play out the rest of the tournament as well as the next tournament with a 64 player field. Travel costs including airfare and hotel for the next Predator World Tour event will be covered by the promoters for the final 16 players. The tournament format including the length of races and payout structure will remain the same and those finishing 17th-32nd will be paid as scheduled. As originally promised, the finals of this event will still be broadcasted on ESPN Star and EuroSport but will be filmed with the next event that is tentatively scheduled for Brazil in the Summer of 2010.
All parties involved seemed excited about the new venue and the promoters’ willingness to make the tournament worthwhile for the players. This event drew a record setting field of American players as it was the first time in 10 years that a European tournament fielded more than 10 American players. Johnny Archer has not attended a tournament here since the 1999 World Championships in Cardiff but was very happy with the offered solution. “Promoters could have taken the easy road out and cancelled the tournament promising to make things up to the players. But I think they will get more credit from the players than they could ever imagine by choosing to continue the tournament given the severe conditions. I think everyone should support what they are doing and help them in whatever they need.”
Predator CEO, Karim Belhaj expressed his gratitude during the emergency players meeting on the morning of day 2 “The attitude of the players has been very helpful. We appreciate your support, flexibility and commitment to the tour’s success.”
For more tournament news and live scoring please visit www.Predator10Ball.com. The Predator World Tour recognizes the following sponsors: Atlas Billiard Supplier, Bilhares Carrinho, Billard Master, Guitart Hotels, Kozoom Multimedia, Poison Cues, QK-S, Simonis Cloth, Tiger Products and Uni-loc.